Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Extremely Sad

The dark side of 'reality' television. This story is so sad. The 'Extreme Makeover' producers manipulated a woman's sister into making cruel statements about her sister's looks, then they decided not to procede with her sister's makeover and sent her home, where her sister was so wracked with guilt that she committed suicide. The show may not have directly caused the suicide, but by manipulating this woman into being cruel towards a sister she loved, certainly a causative element.

I'm not a big fan of this style of 'reality' tv, shows where they play on the fragile emotions of people who going through some sort of suffering already. I liked the joy of the people transformed on shows like 'The Biggest Loser', but squirmed at many aspects of the show, worried about the people who were voted out for example. I guess on this show though they at least seemed to have carefully screened the contestants for people who would cope with the rigours of the game. I remember reading somewhere that the reason the Survivor cast is so carefully screened (and seem to be so dominated by somewhat ego driven type A personalities) is the the first person voted off the original Swedish production killed herself, feeling like she had been publicly shamed.

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